2016 Top Story of the Year: Set­ting a Mary­land Record

Times-Record - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — The Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore cel­e­brated a record-break­ing year Satur­day, June 11, 2016, at the fourth an­nual Man and Woman of the Year gala, hosted at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Re­sort.

This year’s 10-week fundrais­ing cam­paign raised an un­prece­dented $476,859 to­tal — a record for any Mary­land chap­ter, and nearly dou­ble what was raised on the East­ern Shore in last year’s cam­paign — for the LLS mis­sion to find a cure for blood can­cers.

CAM­BRIDGE — The Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore cel­e­brated a record­break­ing year Satur­day, June 11, 2016, at the fourth an­nual Man and Woman of the Year gala, hosted at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Re­sort.

This year’s 10-week fundrais­ing cam­paign raised an un­prece­dented $476,859 to­tal — a record for any Mar yland chap­ter, and nearly dou­ble what was raised on the East­ern Shore in last year’s cam­paign — for the LLS mis­sion to find a cure for blood can­cers. Sev­enty-seven per­cent of each dol­lar raised goes straight into fund­ing re­search, which works out to a con­tri­bu­tion of just over $367,000 for re­search alone.

Anne Arun­del County teacher Emily Mur­ray, of Church Hill, was named 2016 Woman of the Year as she and her team raised $135,882. She is a se­cond-gen­er­a­tion team winner af­ter Tom Bunce was 2015 Man of the Year.

“My grand­mother was here with us last year at the gala, and she lost her fight in Au­gust, so that was a big mo­ti­va­tion,” she said when asked why she wanted to be in­volved.

Mur­ray also thanked the busi­nesses that sup­ported her cam­paign, which in­cluded Acme Bar and Grill, Pussers Caribbean Grille, O’Brien’s, Ar­madil­los, Stan and Joe’s An­napo­lis, Old Bowie Towne Grille, The Crab Deck, Chee­burger Chee­burger An­napo­lis and The Mur­ray Foun­da­tion. She also said she could not have done the cam­paign without the sup­port of her team mem­bers from Team Crushin’ Or­ange, which in­cluded Tom Bunce, Michele Bunce, John Bunce, Stephanie Bunce, Brian Bunce, Steve Dial, Joanne Dial, Kathy Cooper, Molly Bu­sick, Kelly Rambo, Chloe Leonard, Kelsey El­liott, Cather­ine Ar­doin, Jolie Robin­son, Anna Mc­far­land, Brooke Mehler and Kelly Cetrone.

“I ac­cepted my nom­i­na­tion in mem­ory of my Nana, Bev­er­ley Bunce,” she said. “We will be a third year team next year with John Bunce run­ning. I loved all the team­work by ev­ery can­di­date ev­ery week. We worked so hard to­gether as a team to raise a huge amount of money.

“I would en­cour­age other peo­ple to get in­volved be­cause it is life chang­ing,” she said. “I didn’t know ex­actly what I was get­ting into, be­ing a can­di­date and it was a lot of work but see­ing those life-chang­ing num­bers makes it all worth it.

The Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign was the most amaz­ing thing I have ever been a part of,” she added. “Rais­ing money for ten weeks is noth­ing com­pared to what peo­ple fight­ing cancer go through ev­ery day and see­ing those life-chang­ing num­bers made it all worth it.”

Rich Ca­ton of Hal­ton Group Amer­ica in Ch­ester was named 2016 Man of the Year hav­ing raised $74,109.77 along with his team.

“I ded­i­cated my can­di­dacy to my sis­ter Carolyn Catan, sis­ter in law, Celia Mann Catan and my fa­ther in law, Joe Pow­ers mem­ory,” Ca­ton said. “All fought coura­geous bat­tles with cancer and in­spired me. Kris Shana­han was also an in­spi­ra­tion and mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for me par­tic­i­pat­ing. She is an amaz­ing per­son. Our team was in­cred­i­ble.

“For all the par­ents, hus­bands and wives, sib­lings, all the fam­i­lies who are go­ing through those things, that was enough for me,” he said. “I just wanted to be a part of that and give back. I’m so hum­bled to be here help­ing out.”

Ca­ton thanked his team mem­bers, which in­cluded Kris and Dave Shana­han, Brenda Wheat­ley, Kel­ley Ma­cauley, Karen Teng­wall, Mike Car­roll, Melissa Gross, Kirsten Sorensen, Gail Kal­vaitis, Missy Selby and Char Rice; along with the busi­nesses that sup­ported his cam­paign, in­clud­ing Hal­ton Amer­i­cas, First Home Mort­gage, Prospect Bay Coun­try Club, Fred Fred­er­ick Chrsyler Dodge Jeep Ram, Hardee’s/CKE Restau­rant Hold­ings, Club One Fit­ness, Drill Tech, Tide­wa­ter Ro­tary Club, Del­marva Sur­gi­cal, At­lantic Cruis­ing Yachts, Wil­lis Tire & Auto and Kelly Dis­trib­u­tors.

Ca­ton said what he found most ful­fill­ing dur­ing the cam­paign was know­ing that his team played a tan­gi­ble role in sup­port­ing re­search to find a cure for blood can­cers and that also can help find cures for other types of cancer, along with work­ing with such a pos­i­tive and en­er­getic group of peo­ple. He said Melissa Coli­gan will be the 2017 Woman of the Year Can­di­date for his team.

First run­ners up for the cam­paign were Re­becca Kel­lum with $82,765 raised and Wil­liam Nielsen with $63,292 raised. Each can­di­date who raised more $50,000 with their team will be able to choose a re­search port­fo­lio to de­cide how that money will be uti­lized in the fight against blood cancer.

Kel­lum of Kent Is­land Pe­di­atric Den­tistry thanked her team and the busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions that sup­ported her cam­paign, in­clud­ing Kent Is­land Pe­di­atric Den­tistr y and Dr. Mag­gie McGrath, The Point at Pin­tail, Thomp­son Creek Win­dows, Harris Crab House, Cal­la­han’s Gas, Phil bin & Rein­heim Orthodon­tics, Nel­son Insurance, Doc’s River­side Grille, Bay Tech Team LLC, M&R Dry­wall and Metal Stud Inc., Ash­ley Insurance, Patch­ett Ex­ca­vat­ing, Preston Ford, Aqua Pools, Stell­cross Farms LLC, Shore Lum­ber & Mill­work, Jeff Davis Post 18 and Queen­stown Bank.

Wil­liam Nielsen thanked his team and the busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions that sup­ported his cam­paign, in­clud­ing Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 Kent Is­land, Tall Tree Ser­vice, T. Rowe Price, Kent Is­land Benev­o­lent Fund, VFW #7464, Unique Creations, Amer­i­can Le­gion Synepux­ent Post 166, Adams Tap House Grille and Wil­lis Tire & Auto.

Join­ing the cam­paign as can­di­dates were Katie Thoma­son of Par­lour 7 Sa­lon in Den­ton; Amy De­marr of Chop­tank Trans­port in Preston and Mary Kay in Eas­ton; Eas­ton fire­fighter Sveinn Storm of Bartlett Pear Bak­ery in Eas­ton; Justin Davis of Gra­sonville and B/R In­stru­ment Cor­po­ra­tion in Eas­ton; Re­becca Kel­lum of Kent Is­land Pe­di­atric Den­tistr y; and Cor­rine Banks of Ocean City and Bal­anced 4 Life Fit­ness/ID LIFE.

Storm of Bartlett Pear Bak­ery in Eas­ton led the Pi­rates for the Cure-abbean team. He re­ceived spon­sor­ship from Sauce This Bar­be­cue, The Bartlett Pear, Pope’s Tav­ern, Hen­ley Moore Photography, Ana­hata Yoga, Dwelling and De­sign, Chef & Shower, Al­bright’s Gun Shop, Ch­e­sa­peake Teak, and Ce­cile Davis Films. His team mem­bers in­cluded Ce­cile Davis, Anas­tasiia Putkova, Gun­ther DuHoff­man and Rachel Spell­man.

“I ac­cepted the nom­i­na­tion be­cause you should al­ways help your fel­low man if it is in your power to

do so,” he said. “I could not have ac­com­plished any­thing without my sup­port­ers. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the MWOY cam­paign was a truly hum­bling and grat­i­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and I’m hon­ored to be a part of it.”

De­marr thanked her team mem­bers and Chop­tank Trans­port for sup­port­ing her cam­paign. Davis thanked Kent Is­land Benev­o­lent, The Jetty Dock Bar, The Jetty Restau­rant, Brit­tain Sohn, Ken­neth Carlsen, Bill Fleishell, An­gela Price, Arthur Eisen­stein, Wil­liam Church, Gary De­santo Brandee Diggs and Elizabeth Daw­son along with his team.

Cor­rine Banks of Ocean City and Bal­anced 4 Life Fit­ness/ID LIFE thanked all of her team mem­bers and spon­sors, which in­cluded Chick­fila and Bur­ley Oak.

Colby Fowle and Tyler Von Hagel were hon­ored as Girl and Boy of the Year, re­spec­tively.

Kent Is­land Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 was the 2016 Pre­sent­ing Spon­sor of the event. The or­ga­ni­za­tion made a $20,000 do­na­tion to the cam­paign in May, and an ad­di­tional $5,000 do­na­tion on the night of the gala dur­ing Fund the Fight, a do­na­tion light­ning round of sorts.

“I con­grat­u­late all the nom­i­nees on a job well done,” said Post 278 Com­man­der Nikki Ran­dolph. “Your ded­i­ca­tion to the LLS is sim­ply out­stand­ing, and know that your hard work dur­ing this com­pe­ti­tion is sav­ing lives whether you are crowned the winner or not, your ded­i­ca­tion and per­for­mance was awe­some.

“We are all touched by cancer in one form or an­other,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t know if you’re a vet­eran or a civil­ian, if you’re white or black, your gen­der, re­li­gion, race or creed, if you’re an an­i­mal, cancer can strike any­one, any­where, at any­time, and that is why the Amer­i­can Le­gion find the LLS and what they do to be very im­por­tant. Kent Is­land Amer­i­can Le­gion is hon­ored to be able to sup­port this year’s Man and Woman of the Year event.”

Mary­land LLS Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jonathan Wil­son said he is very proud of the East­ern Shore for an out­stand­ing 2016 cam­paign.

“This re­ally comes back to aware­ness,” Wil­son said. “The great thing about the year-to-year growth that we are see­ing on the East­ern Shore shows that the word is get­ting out there and more peo­ple want to get in­volved. This cam­paign is about find­ing a cure, and we ap­pre­ci­ate all the sup­port from the com­mu­nity and the can­di­dates in mak­ing this a record-break­ing night.

“Get­ting in­volved on the East­ern Shore, and get­ting more and more peo­ple aware of the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety and what we are do­ing, is the beauty of this cam­paign,” he said. “That is the en­ergy that we felt in the room tonight.”

Wil­son praised the LLS of the East­ern Shore lead­er­ship, Jen­nifer Veil, Katie Wil­son and Todd Ma­son, for start­ing the East­ern Shore pro­gram and grow­ing the cam­paign.

“At the begin­ning, it was just them,” he said. “This East­ern Shore cam­paign was the brain­child of a few peo­ple. Now, it is a col­lec­tive in­volve­ment of hun­dreds of peo­ple.

“It keeps grow­ing and grow­ing and grow­ing,” he said. “That just shows you the im­pact that this cam­paign along is hav­ing on the East­ern Shore. The LLS lead­er­ship on the East­ern Shore de­serves so much credit for this ac­com­plish­ment.”

In a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion by chap­ter lead­er­ship, can­di­date Katie Thoma­son was hon­ored with the An­gela M. Bul­lock Cit­i­zen­ship Award, given to the can­di­date who most ex­em­pli­fies the mis­sion of the LLS in his or her cam­paign.

Kent Is­land Pe­di­atric Den­tistry also re­ceived spe­cial recog­ni­tion for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of the LLS East­ern Shore chap­ter in the four years since its in­cep­tion.

Jeff Czo­rap­in­ski spoke about his fam­ily’s per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with cancer in his son. In April of 2006, he said his wife took then 10-month-old Joshua to the doc­tor be­cause he just didn’t look quite right. Af­ter be­ing sent to Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal by their pe­di­a­tri­cian and many tests, it was de­ter­mined that Joshua had leukemia.

In ad­di­tion to hav­ing the baby boy begin­ning chemo­ther­apy treat­ments, Jeff and his wife wor­ried for the fate of Joshua’s twin brother Adam. He was tested and found to have the same leukemia cells, but mirac­u­lously, the dis­ease never de­vel­oped in him.

“Cancer is a hor­ri­ble thing, but along the way you meet in­cred­i­ble peo­ple, like the kind of peo­ple you see here tonight,” he said. “You meet in­cred­i­ble doc­tors, like the ones that helped us. It’s just amaz­ing what peo­ple do and what they put out there.”

Joshua went through three years of treat­ment in to­tal, one year for his ini­tial di­ag­no­sis and an­other two years af­ter he ex­pe­ri­enced an iso­lated re­lapse. To­day, he is a healthy, happy 10-year-old boy.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT The 2016 Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore Man and Woman of the Year Cam­paign raised a state record $476,859 for blood cancer re­search.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Rich Catan of Ch­ester and Emily Mur­ray of Church Hill re­ceive the honor of Man and Woman of the Year Satur­day at the 2016 Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore Gala in Cam­bridge.

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